Jan. 8, 2014
San José, Calif.-----Rashad Muhammad matched his season scoring high of 28 points, but Colorado State outlasted San José State, 66-64, in a Mountain West men's basketball game Wednesday night at The Event Center.
Muhammad was 7-of-8 from the field including 5-of-6 from three-point range en route to fifth game of the season scoring 20 or more points. It was also his second consecutive 20-plus scoring game.
"I was open a lot and I was able to make my shots. They gave me the opportunity and I made my shots," said Muhammad.
Following a missed free throw by Colorado State's Daniel Bejarano with 6.7 seconds, the Spartans' 6-foot-6 freshman guard had the ball last for San José State (6-9, 0-3 Mountain West) in the frontcourt but lost his footing near the top of the key without getting a shot off.
"Jalen (James) passed me the rock. I tried to take a couple of dribbles and got tripped up," Muhammad said about the final seconds.
The Spartans overcame 14 first-half turnovers including eight in the first eight minutes to give everything Colorado State (10-6, 1-2 Mountain West) could handle. With Muhammad scoring 19 points in the first half, San José State wiped out an early eight-point deficit and took a 30-27 lead into halftime.
"(Missed) free throws and turnovers cost us the game. I thought we defended well. I thought we rebounded the ball well, but you have to finish off the game with free throws," said San José State head coach Dave Wojcik. The Spartans were 17-of-22 from the line, but were just 3-of-6 in the final 31.4 seconds.
"A lot of our turnovers were unforced turnovers. There were passes that for whatever reason were low or high. We didn't see our guys. I think it was more our doing than the other team."
The lead changed hands 13 times in the second half. San José State reserve guard Isaac Thornton gave the Spartans their last lead of the night hitting his only shot of the game - a three-pointer from the right corner for a 59-58 lead with 1:34 to go.
Colorado State forward J.J. Avila led the Rams with his third double-double of the season, 21 points and a season-high 14 rebounds and converted 6-of-6 from the free throw line after Thornton's three-pointer to hold off the Spartans.
"I'm not even sure we deserved to win. The better team tonight lost. I was really impressed with them. We couldn't put them away. We took them very serious," said Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy. "This was the biggest game of the year for us coming off of two losses, and they caught our `A' game.
"We fired hard at them and they didn't go away. I thought we were fortunate to win.
San José State's three-point shooting kept them in the game as the Spartans made 9-of-19 in the game.
Forwards Chris Cunningham and Jaleel Williams also scored in double figures for the Spartans with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Williams also lead the team with six rebounds and came back to play late in the second half after suffering a shoulder injury.
"We're all very disappointed with the outcome. We definitely had them. We should have won. We didn't make the plays we needed to win the game. We missed free throws down the stretch. We didn't get rebounds," said Cunningham, who fouled out with 1:20 to go. "On the other hand, we played very hard. We're going to get better."
Colorado State shot just 40.4 percent from the field and needed Avila's free throw shooting at the end since the Rams did not make a field goal in the final 3:23.
Bejarano chipped in with 15 points and guard Joe DeCiman added 13 for Colorado State, which ended a two-game losing streak.
San José State hosts New Mexico this Saturday, January 11, at The Event Center at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the Spartan Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX, online at www.sjsuspartans.com, or at any Tickemaster location.
Colorado State vs San José State
01/08/14 7:00 p.m. at San José, Calif. (The Event Center)
COLORADO STATE 66, SAN JOSÉ STATE 64
COLORADO STATE (10-6, 1-2 MW)
AVILA, J.J. 6-20 9-11 21; BEJARANO, Daniel 5-14 3-6 15; DE CIMAN, Joe 5-6 1-2 13; HURST, Carlton 3-3 2-2 8; OCTEUS, Jon 1-7 3-4 5; SANTO, Gerson 1-1 0-0 2; COHN, David 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 21-52 20-27 66.
SAN JOSÉ STATE (6-9, 0-3 MW)
Muhammad, Rashad 7-8 9-12 28; Cunningham, Chris 4-7 4-4 13; Williams, Jaleel 5-9 0-2 11; Thornton, Isaac 1-1 4-4 7; Wilson, Devante 2-9 0-0 5; Pollard, Matt 0-0 0-0 0; James, Jalen 0-4 0-0 0; Mitchell, Brandon 0-0 0-0 0; Brown, D.J. 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 19-40 17-22 64.
Colorado State................ 27 39 - 66
San José State................ 30 34 - 64
3-point goals--Colorado State 4-10 (BEJARANO, Daniel 2-6; DE CIMAN, Joe 2-2; AVILA, J.J. 0-2), San José State 9-19 (Muhammad, Rashad 5-6; Cunningham, Chris 1-1; Thornton, Isaac 1-1; Wilson, Devante 1-6; Williams, Jaleel 1-3; James, Jalen 0-1; Brown, D.J. 0-1). Fouled out--Colorado State-None, San José State-CUNNINGHAM, Chris. Rebounds--Colorado State 26 (AVILA, J.J. 14), San José State 29 (Williams, Jaleel 6). Assists--Colorado State 12 (BEJARANO, Daniel 5), San José State 11 (James, Jalen 7). Total fouls--Colorado State 13, San José State 19. Technical fouls--Colorado State-None, San José State-None. A-1513
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